Friday, July 3, 2009

Charlie V. Mom

I've been thinking about parenting recently, having taught last night on the fifth, sixth and seventh commandments. Implicit in "Honor your father and mother, that you may live long and that it may go well with you..." is the assumption that parents will expect obedience as they instruct their kids to the live according to wisdom.

Today at the pool a mom put on a parenting clinic.

What not to do. The details of the following story are not exaggerated. In fact, it was much worse.

Now here are two disclaimers:
1. This is probably how I would parent if I didn't have a wife who read many books on parenting.
2. My purpose in posting this is not to deride this mom, but to remind myself and others what not to do.

We'll call this boy Charlie.

Charlie (6 years old) V. Mom (36 yrs old):

Mom: "Let's go Charlie!"
Charlie: in the pool, ignoring her
Mom: "If you don't get out, then I'll just come and drag you out."
Charlie: laughing
Mom [now resorting to scare tactics]: "I'm leaving." starts to leave
Charlie: comes out to the door and starts crying
Mom: opens the door as if to leave
Charlie: "Can I just jump in one more time?"
Mom: "Sure."

5 minutes later...

Mom: "Let's go now"
Charlie: Running away
Mom: Starts to chase him around the pool, but stops because she couldn't catch him... "One.."
Charlie's friend in pool [laughing]: "...Two...Three..."
Mom: "Charlie, don't make me come in and drag you out."
Charlie: laughing and swimming away
Mom: starting to leave again
Charlie: crying and throwing a fit in pool
Mom: "If you don't get out, you're going to stay in your room all day long." (she said this at least twice...)
Mom: pretending to leave
Charlie's friend: "Charlie, are you going to stay here the rest of your life?"
Charlie: exasperated, gets out of the pool
Mom: "Say good-bye to your friend"
Charlie: pouting, ignoring her words

Summary of things not to do:

1. Count
2. Give empty commands
3. Raise voice
4. Empty threats
5. No consequences for disobedience
6. Pacifying
7. Exasperating him

What to do is another post for another time... I need to go ask Leatha.

1 comment:

Donnie said...

I am an expert on not to do's #3, 4, 5, and 7. Thanks for the reminders about what not to do. If we can just avoid the not to do's, we have a chance.